“We chose Ray not only for his great appreciation of fine automobiles and all forms of automobile racing, but because he is a “car guy” in every sense of the word.”
HERSHEY, PA – Three-time NASCAR champion crew chief and host of Velocity’s hit series AmeriCarna, Ray Evernham has graciously accepted our invitation to be the Grand Marshal of the 2016 Elegance at Hershey. Evernham won three NASCAR Cup championships as Jeff Gordon’s crew chief and has more than 40 years experience in the automotive industry.
In accepting our invitation, Ray states “I am honored to be the Grand Marshal at The Elegance at Hershey. In just a few short years, The Elegance has become well-known in automotive circles. I’m excited to see the race cars on the hill and view the spectacular automotive works of art on the lawn of the prestigious Hotel Hershey. Hershey may be well-known for its chocolates, but those of us in the car game know it for its rich automotive tradition as well. I can’t wait to be there!”
“Having Ray Evernham as our Grand Marshal is thrilling for The Elegance,” says Steve Moskowitz of the Elegance Board. “We chose Ray not only for his great appreciation of fine automobiles and all forms of automobile racing, but because he is a “car guy” in every sense of the word. Ray is one of those people you instantly like and is the type of person we want to honor. We are most appreciative that he has taken time out of his busy schedule to join us for the weekend.”
Ray’s passion for automobiles was forged in his childhood days. Early on in his stellar career, Ray had aspirations of becoming a championship-winning driver. After working with world-class drivers in the International Race of Champions (IROC) series, he realized his success in the racing world was to be found not behind the wheel but in managing the drivers and owning teams that compete at the sport’s highest levels. In 1992, Rick Hendrick afforded Ray the opportunity to crew chief for his #24 team and the then up-and-coming driver Jeff Gordon. Three NASCAR Cup championships and 47 Cup victories, including two Daytona 500s and the inaugural Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are counted among his many laurels as a crew chief.
In 1999, Ray began a new challenge – team ownership. Evernham Motorsports became a reality when Daimler-Chrysler chose Evernham to spearhead Dodge’s re-entry into NASCAR racing, and in less than 500 days, Ray developed a car, engine and parts distribution program for Dodge’s entire NASCAR presence. With driver Bill Elliott, Ray won Dodge the 2001 Daytona 500 pole in their first Sprint Cup Series start in nearly 20 years.
Ray rejoined his friend, Rick Hendrick, in 2011 as a consultant to Hendrick Companies. In 2014, Ray returned to the competition side of NASCAR as a consultant to Hendrick Motorsports, where he serves as a trusted member of the executive management team and offers his expertise in several key areas of race operations. Ray was nominated for the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015.
Ray is also an avid collector of all sorts of vehicles, ranging from classic Mopars to priceless vintage race cars. In 2012, Ray debuted as a car designer and builder at the world-renowned SEMA Show by revealing his For-Ply – a one-of-a-kind 1964 Plymouth Belvedere combining old school American style with modern NASCAR technology. Ray and his team of mechanics and specialty fabricators at Ray Evernham Enterprises have proven to be second to none.
In addition to fulfilling his duties at Hendrick Motorsports, Ray is a broadcast TV personality serving as a NASCAR racing analyst with NBCSN and hosting Velocity’s hit TV series AmeriCarna, which he developed, co-owns and co-produces with his old friend Rick Hendrick. AmeriCarna allows Ray to reveal untold stories of the cars that have so heavily influenced American car culture. Ray also serves as a car insights analyst for Velocity and Discovery’s live broadcasts of the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auctions.
Ray is an extremely active philanthropist through his Evernham Family – Racing for a Reason Foundation (EFRFAR) and IGNITE Community Center, which he founded in 2012 with the Autism Society of North Carolina, for young adults with high-functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) in Davidson, N.C. IGNITE is a project very close to Ray’s heart because his young adult son, Ray J, has Asperger’s Syndrome.
About The Elegance at Hershey
The Elegance at Hershey, a 501 (C) (3) organization based in Hershey, PA, was established in 2010. In its first five years, The Elegance at Hershey has donated more than $800,000 to its three charities, JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), the AACA Museum and the AACA Library & Research Center. Contributions are facilitated by significant sponsor support. We’re excited to welcome Keno Brothers Fine Automobile Auctions (www.kenobrothers.com) to host the first-ever auction event at The Elegance this year. Together with a great team of volunteers and donors, The Elegance is excited to move forward with the 2016 event. The event will be held on June 10, 11 and 12, 2016.